The ICC World Cup 2019 starts on 30th May 2019, and we can see all the teams sweating out to find the right combination. India and England go into the tournaments as favorites, but the other 8 teams are no less as well. Defending champions Australia will play their first Match on June 3 against Afganistan.
The Indian squad looks set and raring to go. The only issue for the men in blue has been their No.4 batting position and there have been continuous debates and experiments in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over the same.
India has tried more than 10 players for this spot since the 2015 World Cup, but the answer has not been found yet. Recently, it was Rayadu whom the selection committee chose to play at that spot, but he did not yield an expected result as well. There are less than 3 months to go for the most prestigious ICC league in the world, but the team has failed to find a batsman for the Number 4 spot.
The middle order had delivered in the 1st ODI against Australia when MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav had put an unbeaten 139 run stand to get India home. But in the recently concluded 2nd and the 3rd ODIs, the middle order failed yet again and luckily there were king Kohli and Vijay Shankar, who saved India from humiliation on both the occasions.
The above instance is enough to prove how inconsistent India's middle order has been. Barring MS, no batsman has constantly scored runs, which is a big worry. Ambati Rayadu's recent scores have read as 13, 18 and 2. Kedar Jadhav has been silent since his match-winning 87 balls 81. The recent form of Shikhar has made matters worse. Therefore, it has become absolutely essential for the middle order to deliver now.
Although the BCCI has tried to give an opportunity to each and every deserving player, there have been the players who deserved more recognition and chances to prove that they can be the team's remedy for that continuous headache.
#1 Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane has been given only 10 innings at the No.4 spot since the ICC World Cup 2018. The right-hander has been impressive as well, scoring 420 runs at an average of 46.66. His overall tally playing at this spot is 843 runs in 25 innings.
However, he has been constantly ignored by the selectors. Although he is a vital link in India's test squad, he has been kept out of the scene in the ODIs. He had a superb performance in India's tour of Australia (tests), where he had scored 217 runs in 7 innings, at an average of 31. His tally also included 2 half-centuries one of which was a match-winning 70 of 147 deliveries in the first test against Australia.
Even after so nice outing in that series, he was ignored by the selectors for the limited overs series against Australia and New Zealand, that followed the historic series, which India won 2-1. Although his position in India's 15 member squad for the WC is highly improbable, he certainly deserved more chances.